Moses the Peregrine vs. Gee the Mountain Biker

by - 9:28 PM

FalcoPeregrinusBabylonicusGould
John Gould [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons






















Once you see this video it's amazing anything escapes a Peregrine.

With speeds of up to 200 mph and an all time recorded speed of 242 mph (National Geographic) this is a bullet of a bird.



It's a delight to see the aerial ballet that Moses the Peregrine performs to get at the bait attached to the rider and it had to have been a race like none other for this 2010 Downhill World Cup Champion, Gee Atherton. If you've ever seen a downhill race these guys are hardcore and fearless, just not as fearless as a Peregrine!

If you're a Peregrine like Moses, to dive at speeds of 200+ mph the change in air pressure could kill you if you didn't evolve a tubercles. This is a bony structure on the falcon's nostrils which guides the airflow away from the nostrils enabling its ability to breath while in a dive.

While only weighing about upwards of a pound and a half to almost two pounds for males and about three pounds for females they have enough strength in their notched beak to severe a prey's spinal column.


Moses sizes up his competition.  © Adam Walker, www.redbull.com

Although Gee outweighs his Peregrine competitor by far, he had to have a lot fear of those claws.

No spoilers here on who wins, watch the video!



Now that you've watched that one be amazed by the making of the video, I want to know who was lucky enough to operate the flying camera and how were they able to keep up with bird and super fast Gee....



On the look out for Peregrines in New England?  Besides inhabiting the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, check the skies for the urban dwellers...


  • If you live in Worcester, MA look up at the Printers Building on Portland Street, a relocated mated pair was moved to a nesting box built just for two.
  • Providence, Rhode Island has counted 22+ nesting pairs since 2000 - Look up next time you are there!
  • Considering the amount of pigeons in New York city it's no wonder Peregrines have made their skyscrapers and bridges home, the city is now believed to have one of the largest urban Peregrine Falcon populations.
  • Massachusetts boasts 12+ nests on buildings and bridges in urban downtown Boston, Springfield, Fall River, Lawrence and Amherst.

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3 comments

  1. This morning I opened my front door and startled a common blue jay. Immediately he took a speedy flight and flew way off to the woods. I was taken by how swift his flight was and knew of no human that could have arrived at that point in the woods in such a short time as it took the jay. Then I read your post and realized how fast some birds can fly. I find watching nature's critters so fascinating -- barbara

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  2. Amazing. I occasionally see Peregrines hawking pigeons high above their nest on a tall tower at Mayo Clinic in Rochester...

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